New NYC Law Aims to Tackle E-Bike, Scooter Fires

By Matis Glenn


Amid a rise in lithium-ion battery fires, commonly used in e-bikes and scooters, Mayor Adams announced Monday a set of regulations and public education initiatives to promote the safe use of the devices.

“Today, we are supercharging safety for all of our e-bikes and e-scooter users,” Mayor Adams said in a statement. “These are convenient transportation options for New Yorkers, but faulty and illegal devices are making their way into our homes and streets, causing fires and putting lives at risk.”

Under the mayor’s “Charge Safe, Ride Safe” plan, the city would advocate to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other federal agencies to ensure that devices sold to New Yorkers meet applicable safety standards, test new technologies to store and charge lithium-ion batteries, and create hubs to provide delivery workers with safe places to rest and charge their devices throughout the city.

It would also pilot outdoor storage and charging solutions at NYCHA housing, create lithium-ion battery safety training programs for emergency workers and first responders, a fire marshal task force to identify violators of the fire code, and apply for federal grant funding.

The city also wants to promote the use of e-bikes and scooters by launching a pilot program to allow the devices on park drives and greenways this summer.

Mayor Adams also signed five bills into law to further regulate lithium-ion batteries sold in New York City.

The first bill will require the FDNY, in consultation with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), to develop an informational campaign educating the public on fire risks posed by powered mobility devices and how to mitigate those risks.

The second bill will prohibit the sale, lease, or rental of e-bikes and electric scooters, and storage batteries for these devices, that fail to meet recognized safety standards.

The third bill will require the FDNY to submit five reports relating to fire risks and powered mobility devices, such as e-bikes and electric scooters. Reports will include data on fires during the previous year caused by these devices and recommendations for changes to changes to the administrative code to further decrease fire risk.

The fourth bill will require the DCWP, in consultation with the FDNY, to publish materials that provide guidance on safe use and storage of powered mobility devices.

The fifth bill will prohibit the assembly or reconditioning of lithium-ion batteries using cells removed from used storage batteries and prohibit the sale of a lithium-ion batteries that use cells removed from used storage batteries.

Rep. Richie Torres (NY-15) introduced federal legislation earlier this month to regulate lithium-ion batteries.

According to the FDNY, lithium-ion batteries have caused 33 fires this year, resulting in three deaths and 42 injuries citywide.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!